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Semitrailer maintenance critical to safety

Readers of this blog are very familiar with the dangers posed by semitrailers. A fatigued or distracted trucker can swerve his or her massive vehicle into other lanes of traffic, causing a devastating wreck with tragic consequences. Though there are many things truckers should do when behind the wheel, their actions and inactions on the road are not the end all and be all of safety.

In fact, truck inspection, repair and maintenance are huge parts of truck safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires commercial motor vehicles to be periodically inspected. These inspections are quite thorough, ensuring that the vehicle is safe for operation on the roadways. Companies are disallowed from operating trucks that have not been inspected, and they must carry proof that an inspection has occurred within the last 12 months. This report must include the date of the inspection and certification that the vehicle passed inspection.

A properly inspected, repaired, and maintained truck is a safer truck. Therefore, the onus is on truck drivers and their employers to ensure that these vehicles are road-ready. Yet, companies that are trying to cut corners or that are otherwise negligent may forego an inspection, causing a dangerous vehicle to the streets. When this happens, a serious tractor trailer crash may occur.

Those who have been hurt in a collision, whether caused by a speeding truck driver, a company that failed to properly maintain its fleet or a drowsy truck driver, should consider taking legal action. Filing a lawsuit might help alleviate some of a victim's damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. When handling such complicated matters, it might be best to seek assistance from an experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Part 396 Inspection, Repair and Maintenance," accessed on June 12, 2015

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